Third Sunday in Ordinary time, Psalter III
ST ANGELA MERICI (1470 – 1540)
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 95: 1, 6
O sing a new song to the Lord; sing to the Lord, all the earth. In his presence are majesty and splendour, strength and honour in his holy place.
Almighty ever-living God, direct our actions according to your good pleasure, that in the name of your beloved Son we may abound in good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : Nehemiah 8:2-6, 8-10
Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, consisting of men, women, and children old enough to understand. This was the first day of the seventh month. On the square before the Water Gate, in the presence of the men and women, and children old enough to understand, he read from the book from early morning till noon; all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden dais erected for the purpose. In full view of all the people – since he stood higher than all the people – Ezra opened the book; and when he opened it all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people raised their hands and answered, ‘Amen! Amen!’; then they bowed down and, face to the ground, prostrated themselves before the Lord. And Ezra read from the Law of God, translating and giving the sense, so that the people understood what was read. Then Nehemiah – His Excellency – and Ezra, priest and scribe and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all the people, ‘This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not be mournful, do not weep.’ For the people were all in tears as they listened to the words of the Law. He then said, ‘Go, eat the fat, drink the sweet wine, and send a portion to the man who has nothing prepared ready. For this day is sacred to our Lord. Do not be sad: the joy of the Lord is your stronghold.’
Psalm 18 (19):8-10, 15
R/ Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.
1. The law of the Lord is perfect, it revives the soul. The rule of the Lord is to be trusted, it gives wisdom to the simple.
2. The precepts of the Lord are right, they gladden the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, it gives light to the eyes.
3. The fear of the Lord is holy, abiding for ever. The decrees of the Lord are truth and all of them just.
4. May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart, win favour in your sight, O Lord, my rescuer, my rock!
Second reading : 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27
Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink. Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts… Now you together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it.
Gospel Acclamation : Lk 4:18
Alleluia, alleluia! The Lord has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives.Alleluia!
Gospel : Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
Seeing that many others have undertaken to draw up accounts of the events that have taken place among us, exactly as these were handed down to us by those who from the outset were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, I in my turn, after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning, have decided to write an ordered account for you, Theophilus, so that your Excellency may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received. Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him. He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written: The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour. He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the Synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept our offerings, O Lord, we pray, and in sanctifying them grant that they may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Ps 33: 6
Look toward the Lord and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, receiving the grace by which you bring us to new life, we may always glory in your gift. Through Christ our Lord.
How important is the Word of God for us? What place does it occupy in our lives? These are questions that every Christian must ask herself, and to which she must give appropriate responses. Ezra the priest read the Word of God to the Israelites from early morning till noon, and the Israelites listened attentively. They were so touched by the Word that they wept; they must have realised how much they fell short of applying that Word in their lives. If only we could listen to the Word and allow ourselves to be touched by it in the same way! Luke begins his Gospel by stating the reason why he wrote it; he wrote so that Theophilus, to whom he addressed it, might believe more deeply in the teaching he had received about Jesus. The Word of God deepens and strengthens our faith in Jesus Christ. As Jesus states in the Gospel, the words of Scripture are fulfilled in him. The Word of God leads us to a greater knowledge of and a deeper faith in Jesus. As St. Jerome said, “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”. We must meditate on the Word everyday, so that we may know Jesus better, love him more deeply and serve him more faithfully.